Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is a breathing disorder that causes a person to wake up many times during the night gasping for air. This occurs when the muscles of the body relax during sleep, causing the upper airway to collapse and interrupt a person’s breathing. There are increased chances of this condition if one has permanent or temporary brain injury, excess soft tissue or reduced muscle tone.
Some of the major health problems caused by this condition include high blood pressure, morning headache, erectile dysfunction, lack of memory or concentration, insomnia, increased urination, anxiety, loud snoring, depression and extreme drowsiness during day time. In children, the airway is blocked due to enlarged adenoids and tonsils, thus leading to OSA. Given below are some of the obstructive sleep apnea treatment options.
Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A certified sleep medicine physician can determine whether you have OSA. The severity of your condition is evaluated with the help of a sleep study or polysomnogram. Usually, the most common and first step in treatment is a nasal CPAP machine. Since adjusting to the device is problematic for most patients, surgical treatment is considered more beneficial and practical.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Surgical options for OSA treatment are listed below:
- Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure in which the physician makes an opening through the neck to the windpipe. Then he would insert a tube through it for creating an airway.
- UPPP or Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is advised if the patient is having excess soft tissue of the uvula and soft palate. When extra tissues are surgically removed, the upper airway is opened. However, there are chances of the symptoms recurring within 5 years.
- Genioglossus advancement involves advancing the muscles of the tongue base forward on a small piece of bone attached to the mandible. The hypopharyngeal airway is enlarged as a result, and this is combined with other surgical procedures to correct a narrow airway.
- Tonsillectomy is done for removal of enlarged adenoids or tonsils of children for creation of air passage that is unobstructed.
- Hyoid Myotomy helps in advancing the tongue base forward so that the airway is opened. Genioglossus advancement and UPPP may accompany the surgery.
- The surgeon may recommend distraction osteogenesis for newborns and young children if they are having severe abnormalities of the bone like Treacher Collins Syndrome, hemifacial microsomia and Pierre Robin sequence.
- With Maxillomandibular advancement, an option is provided for bringing the lower as well as upper jaw to the appropriate place. Thus, the airway is enlarged and the muscles in that area are tightened.